The overall goal of the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) experiment is to resolve why Polar Mesospheric Clouds form and why they vary. By measuring PMCs and the thermal, chemical and dynamical environment in which they form, we will quanti the connection between these clouds and the meteorology of the polar mesosphere. In the end, this will provide the basis for study of long-term variability in the mesospheric climate and its relationship to global change. The results of AIM will be a rigorous validation of predictive models that can reliably use past PMC changes and present trends as indicators of global change. The AIM goal will be achieved by measuring PMC extinction, brightness, spatial distribution, particle size distributions, gravity wave activity, dust influx to the atmosphere and precise, vertical profile measurements of temperature, H20, C&, 0 3 , C02, NO. and aerosols. These data can only be obtained by a complement of instruments on an orbiting spacecraft (S/C).